Branding Like A Boss 10 Best Brand Strategy Examples
Hooking readers with an intriguing question, surprising statistic, or bold statement can immediately capture attention and set the stage for compelling content. For example:
What if I told you that some of the world’s most successful brands don’t rely solely on visual identity and clever marketing campaigns? Their secret weapon lies in strategy – specifically, brand strategy.
When crafted effectively, brand strategy influences decisions, connects companies with target audiences, drives market share, and boosts the bottom line. Intrigued? Read on to uncover examples from 10 leading brands who are masters of strategic branding. We’ll explore the elements they employ and how it translates to consumer resonance and competitive advantage.
From Tom’s Shoes’ purpose-driven ethos to Apple’s simplistic innovation, brands like Tesla, Patagonia, IKEA, Harley Davidson, Old Spice, Airbnb and Hermes have cracked the code. Their blueprints offer valuable lessons for professionals aiming to develop memorable, meaningful brands of their own.
Buckle up for a thrilling examination of best-in-class brand strategy examples. By the end, you’ll have actionable insights to inform branding efforts and boost marketing ROI.
The Purpose That Fuels Great Brands
A brand’s purpose refers to its reason for being beyond profits. Defining purpose crystallizes why a company exists and the impact it aims to make.
Purpose-led brands that connect with customer values often inspire trust, loyalty and advocacy. Research shows that consumers are 4-6 times more likely to buy from, trust and defend brands with a clear, meaningful purpose.
Take Tom’s Shoes for example.
Founded in 2006, Tom’s core purpose is to improve lives through business. For every pair sold, Tom’s donates a pair to a child in need. This giving model was born from founder Blake Mycoskie’s firsthand experience of hardships faced by shoeless children when traveling in Argentina.
- Tom’s purpose has shaped business decisions and brand communications. It resonates with socially-conscious consumers who feel good supporting the company’s grassroots efforts.
- One-third of Tom’s profits also further this purpose by funding sight-restoring surgeries, safe water solutions and disaster relief.
- Such genuine, purpose-led branding breeds trust and loyalty. Tom’s ranks #2 in the world for corporate purpose according to the 2021 Purpose Power Index.
The success of brands like Tom’s shows that purpose equates to more than feel-good marketing. When woven into the fabric of business strategy and culture, it galvanizes teams, attracts talent and makes companies more resilient.
Purpose also meets consumer demand for conscious brands that address social or environmental issues. It’s a competitive advantage that boosts relevance, preference and market share.
In summary, discover and broadcast your purpose. Let it shape decisions and unite stakeholders around shared goals for positive impact, both in business and society. Customers will follow suit.
Vision, Mission and Values: Guiding Brands to Success
A brand’s vision outlines its future aspirations. Vision statements plant a flag where the brand wants to go, guiding decisions and actions.
Take Tesla’s ambitious vision to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” This lofty aim transcends selling cars to spearhead global change.
- Tesla’s decisions and innovations align with this north star, from electric vehicles to home solar products to grid-scale batteries.
- The vision also motivates employees who feel part of a higher purpose – to drive sustainability and combat climate change.
In contrast, the brand mission defines commitments today to fulfill that vision tomorrow.
Patagonia’s mission statement promises “to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire solutions to the environmental crisis.”
- This pledge shapes Patagonia’s investments in sustainable materials, ethical factories, repair services and advocacy campaigns. The mission permeates processes, products and culture.
- As a certified B Corp focused beyond profits, Patagonia walks the talk on environmental issues. Its actions match the mission, earning credibility and loyalty.
Finally, brand values outline guidelines for decisions and conduct. Values reflect what is important in how a brand operates:
- IKEA’s values like togetherness, simplicity and sustainability help make choices that match its vision to “create a better everyday life for the many people.”
- The values act as cultural cornerstones for IKEA. They set expectations for how employees collaborate and conduct business.
In summary, vision, mission and values form a hierarchy for brands. The vision sits at the top, setting the destination. The mission lays out the plan for getting there. And values guide behaviors and norms along the journey.
This strategic framework steers brands toward their purpose. It also attracts talent, partners and customers who share the same vision and values.
Bringing Brands to Life with Personality and Voice
Beyond logos and taglines, a brand’s personality and voice make it relatable. Humanizing brands fosters emotional bonds between businesses and buyers.
Take Harley-Davidson. Its brand identity oozes rugged nonconformity, endearing Harley to rebels at heart.
- Harley’s tone of voice echoes those rebellious personality traits. Their copy speaks directly and defiantly to riders with an informal swagger.
- From their website to ads to dealerships, Harley’s communication channels consistency project its counterculture spirit.
Aligning personality and voice multiplies impact. Had Harley instead sounded stodgy or pretentious, bikers wouldn’t buy the brand’s outlaw image. Authenticity matters.
Even in body wash, Old Spice leverages an over-the-top machismo personality and goofy, satirical voice to connect with younger consumers:
- Old Spice was seen as a fading old-man brand before repositioning with a tongue-in-cheek tone. Their ads and products now ooze humor and confidence.
- Sales spiked as Old Spice matched form with function. The brand’s messaging echoes its persona as hypermasculine and larger than life.
In closing, think of brands as human characters. Build distinctive yet genuine personalities based on target consumer psychographics. Then develop a complementary voice to bring consistent traits to life across touchpoints.
The most relatable brands feel like trusted friends. Their words and actions align. Personality sets the stage while an authentic voice tells the tale.
Weaving Brand Narratives with Storytelling and Heritage
Brands build bonds through shared stories. By understanding target consumers’ hopes, challenges, and journeys, brands can weave themselves into compelling, relevant narratives.
For example, Airbnb fosters a community united by travel. Their marketing spotlights hosts’ and guests’ stories:
- Airbnb emphasizes user-generated content and reviews. People showcase unique stays and local experiences. This makes the brand feel authentic and approachable.
- Instead of merely advertising lodging logistics, Airbnb’s messaging taps into travelers’ desires for connection, belonging, and adventure.
Brand heritage also tells powerful stories. History connotes quality, expertise and nostalgia:
- As the world’s oldest fashion house, Hermès draws on 185 years of artisanal mastery. Their brand story celebrates generations of craftsmanship.
- Longevity suggests why Hermès has thrived—an unwavering commitment to materials and techniques that stand the test of time. Their narrative binds past with future.
In closing, compelling brand stories resonate by reflecting target consumers’ identity and aspirations. Leverage user journeys and brand heritage to shape engaging, memorable narratives that humanize your brand.
The Power of a Memorable Brand Tagline
A tagline distills a brand’s ethos into a pithy, sticky statement. When crafted thoughtfully, taglines crystallize positioning and spearhead brands into consumers’ minds.
Take Nike’s iconic “Just Do It” slogan. Born in 1988 from an ad campaign, it captured runners’ motivation and drive. The line quickly evolved into Nike’s adopted tagline—an internal mantra and external badge.
What makes “Just Do It” so effective?
- Simplicity – At just three words, it’s infinitely quotable and hashtaggable.
- Meaning – By celebrating perseverance over perfection, it resonates with amateur and pro athletes alike.
- Memorability – Rhyming and brevity aid recall, while abstraction invites personal interpretation.
- Catchiness – The commanding call-to-action grabs attention with its audacious tone.
Today, Nike’s tagline remains inextricable from the Swoosh itself. It spearheads Nike’s brand as both symbol and way of life.
In closing, take inspiration from Nike in crafting your own taglines: Distill your ethos into a concise, stirring motto that captures your brand’s soul and spurs action. The impact of a truly iconic tagline? Just do it.
Crafting Connections Through Brand Strategy
An effective brand strategy weaves together various elements into a cohesive system. While positioning takes center stage, supplementary components help cement meaningful bonds.
Purpose, vision, personality, story—these strategic pillars build relationships by revealing the human side of brands. Audiences don’t connect with faceless corporations; they forge ties with entities that share beliefs and experiences. Brand strategy, when thoughtfully crafted, provides that window for resonance.
Take Patagonia’s mission statement: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire solutions to the environmental crisis.” This commitment permeates operations, guiding decisions out of care for the planet. Customers flock to Patagonia because its mission aligns with their values.
Similarly, TOMS Shoes interweaves social good into its reason for being. For every pair sold, TOMS gives a pair to a child in need. This purpose seeds an emotional bond that drives sales through shared ideals.
In the end, brand strategy comes down to thoroughly understanding your audience and delivering resonance. Reveal your driving beliefs, weave your ethos into stories, shape a distinctive personality—strategies that reveal the human heart turn random consumers into loyal brand evangelists.
Positioning may anchor your strategy, but supplemental pillars forge the connections that transform buyers into believers. Understand your audience, connect through shared purpose and experience, and your brand strategy will thrive.
Greetings! I’m Jack, founder of Scythos – where I’ve helped over 50 brands transform into unforgettable identities and stunning digital presences. As a brand strategist and creative consultant, I have over a decade of experience taking brands from wallflowers to the centre of attention.
Looking to get your branding noticed and your business thriving? Reach out anytime to brainstorm creative strategies for making your brand impossible to ignore. I love collaborating with passionate entrepreneurs to conceptualize innovative ways to connect with their audiences.
Whether you need help with a logo, website, content or entire rebrand – let’s chat! I’m always eager to share my ideas, creative concepts and expertise to help brands reach the next level. Together, we can make sure your business gets seen and heard. Follow along on social or send me a message to get the conversation started!